Back pain comes in many shapes, sizes, and causes. Some pain is sharp and concentrated to a small area other pain is dull and constant. This may be because back is made up of tons of muscles and nerves. One muscle that plays a part in most lower back pain is the Psoas muscles. We have two Psoas muscles that run on each side. The muscle starts at our lower back. It attaches to the last 5 lumbar vertebrae. The Psoas then travels through the pelvic area and ends at our femur bone. This muscle helps stabilize the low back and lifts the leg forward and up. It is an important muscle that we use in most everything we do. The psoas can become tight when we spend an extend period of time in a seated position. When the psoas is tight it pulls on the low back causing pain and discomfort. Prolonged tightness in the psoas can cause compression of the spine and may lead to structural damage, degenerative disc diseases, and sometimes herniation.
Playing with supported bridge pose a great way to stretch the psoas muscle. To do supported bridge pose you will need a yoga block or folded blanket or beach towel.
· Start laying on your back with your knees bent, soles of the feet on the ground.
· Lift your hips and place the block under your hips.
· Allow your knees to fall towards each other and stay here for up to 5 minutes.
· To deepen the stretch, extend one leg long on the ground. Relax the that leg completely. Linger here for up to 5 minutes and change legs.
· To deepen the stretch more, extend both legs long on the ground. Linger here for up to 5 minutes.
Let your lower back guide you as to how deep to take the stretch. Start slowly and ease into the deeper variations. Once you are done and you remove the block from under your hips, hug both knees into your chest and move in a circular motion, massaging your low back.